Thanks to Yao Ming, Jaws might be saved and bloggers are thankful. When the basketball star denounced shark fin soup, the blogosphere took notice. And, is Al Gore full of hot air when he discusses global warming? Some bloggers say he doesn't practice what he preaches. Plus, which fast-food chain is giving away toy Hummers as gas prices rise? Find out below.
When 7-foot-6 NBA star Yao Ming announced at a Beijing press conference held by the conservation group WildAid that he pledged never to eat shark fin soup ever again, it was hardly front page news. But, many bloggers sure were impressed with the basketball giant.
"I pledge to stop eating sharks fin soup and will not do so under any circumstances," Yao told a press conference. "For the sake of our future, please join us in protecting endangered wildlife."
Yao also released a WildAid ad, now a YouTube hit.
This is a big deal in China. As the New York Times explains: "Swearing off shark fin may not sound like much to Westerners, but here in China, this most expensive delicacy has a long and honorable history … And Hong Kong and Beijing government officials — not to mention thousands of businessmen hoping to close the next big deal — swear they absolutely have to treat their guests to shark fin soup as a show of respect and honor."
Many bloggers get it. "I think that Yao's 'coming out' against Shark Fin soup is important for Chinese culture by showing that a major star can make a somewhat political (albeit safe) stand that demonstrates intelligence," The Black China Hand writes. "The big test will be what the average Chinese citizen makes of Yao's stance (if they get a chance to know it)?"
Charles Chen agrees. "Hopefully, this leads to a decrease in the incredibly grissly, wasteful, and disgusting practice of finning sharks," he blogs.
But other bloggers, like Tseming Yang, argue that taking on environmental issues in China is not new. "While it is uncommon for folks to speak out publicly and in high profile fashion about controversial issues, most environmental issues are not really that controversial anymore," Yang writes at Citizen Yang. "Environmentalism is just about to become a mainstream cause, with a significant amount of environmental awareness at least among the younger folks, especially university students."